Chocolate Chip Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

It was four years ago. It was a potluck picnic in a park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I spotted these cookies, these beautiful cookies, in a small, decorative tin on a table covered in layers upon layers of food. However, as far as I was concerned, the table might as well have been completely empty because I simply could not take my eyes off of these divine specimens. It was love at first sight. And then, shortly thereafter, love at first bite.

For four years, these cookies and I had an infrequent affair. On rare occasions, we would meet and I would devour this dear cookie whole, savoring each and every bite. Twice. Thrice. Once is never enough. Finally, after much exaltation, begging, and pleading (only once on hand and knee), this recipe was released unto me. And so, dear readers, I shall release it unto you, so you, too, can embark on the love affair of a lifetime.

This cookie has heft. It has volume. It demands your full, unwavering attention. This cookie also has no added sugar. There is not even a sugar substitute present. The sugar comes solely from the chocolate chips and raisins. 'What?' You may ask. 'A cookie with no sugar added? You fell in love with that cookie? ' Yes, I did. And you will too. The sugar is not missed. You will not realize it is gone. In that fact is where the true beauty of this cookie lies. Your relationship with Mr. No Sugar Added will always be much healthier (and tastier) than with any other second-rate cookie that catches your eye.

Chocolate Chip Raisin (Sugar-free) Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 2 dozen cookies

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups (16 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups quick or old fashioned oats
2 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually, beat in the flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, oats, and raisins.

Put dough in a 1/4 cup measuring cup and level it. Drop dough 3 inches apart onto an un-greased baking sheet. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool cookies on a baking sheets for 2 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.